Buying beats online.

All you need to know about buying and selling music online.

The information here is directly tailored for artists who are:

1. Getting into music and are planning to take it seriously
2. Have some experience in music and want to take your music to the next step
3. Looking to make the move from use of tagged beats to buying beats
4. At the point in your music where you need to start licensing beats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We worked with labels, companies, number of artists and music producers. 

YOu need to know this

Free beats

Can you really get music for free?

In the music industry, the term “free beats” entirely depends on what the beat maker clarifies it means. Free beats are categorized by:
1. Producer tags that play every 30 seconds or so.
2. Beats in your possession without a license agreement from the producer.

How to legally use free beats?

Really, there is not much you can do with free beats; well, nothing commercial or profitable. Most people tend to use free beats in order to:

Test it out before purchasing

Record vocals and test if the vocal keys match the key of the beat

Record a demo for feedback purposes before purchasing a license for the beat

Some producers allow artists to upload tracks created with their free beats on their social media platforms. However, these producers have total control over the uploaded material, if they want it taken down you have to comply. The statutory damages of copyright infringement are not a joke. So instead of playing with fire, get into the business of buying beats.

License Agreement

What is a License Agreement?

When you buy a beat, you are purchasing material copyrighted by the relevant producer. With this purchase comes certain leeway and rights the producer grants you over the beat. This is what is called a License Agreement.

Non-Exclusive Beat Licenses (Leases)

Non-Exclusive licenses grant specific user rights on the beat purchased for recording lyrics and vocals on it. Note that this doesn’t mean that you exclusively own the beats. The producer still retains all copyright ownership. All this means is that the producer keeps the right to license the beat to whomever they want until they get a buyer who wants to purchase exclusive rights.

Copyright Issues

So, once you purchase a non-exclusive license and record your vocals on it, do you have a level of copyright rights on it? Well, yes and no! In this case, all you have done is created derivative work. So basically, you have copyright over the lyrics, but not on the beat you have recorded since the music copyright still belongs to the producer. 

Publishing Rights

With a non-exclusive license, you get 0% of the publishing rights. 

Exclusive Beat Licensing

Owning exclusive rights to a beat basically means you can master your song without limits user rights. With this type of license, you can actually make money commercially, globally. Your range of exploiting the master is vast without any limitations. More so, beat licensing is now a non-issue because you will now own the exclusive rights to the song you created using the beats.

Copyright Issues & Publishing Rights

The issue of copyright sharing in exclusive beat licensing has been a major controversial topic of discussion amongst producers. They differ in how they define ‘exclusive’ rights. However, most negotiate for a fair 50/50 split of publishing rights and maximize the song’s potential. Most terms are negotiable between the artists and the producer.

What should you choose: Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive

Major Difference

The biggest difference between the two is that non-exclusive licenses for one beat can be sold to numerous artists but exclusive licenses are only sold once to an individual artist.

What works best for you?

If you are looking to get serious about the beats and have the potential to make it a hit, then Exclusive licenses are your best bet. However, if you are a young artist coming up working on your mixtape or first album, then it does not make sense to spend all that money on exclusive rights. A non-exclusive license will adequately help you in building a fan base and getting your music heard.

1. Basic Leases

These partially professional licenses are suitable for platforms like Mixtapes and YouTube Video Uploads

With a basic lease, you get to enjoy:

Untagged MP3

Untagged WAV

Max 100,000 Audio Streams

Max 100,000 Video Streams

Non-Profit Performances

Sell 5,000 copies

Use for max. 1 Music Videos

This type of lease typically works out for upcoming artists.  

2. Premium Lease

This lease is used as a professional license for an album or single releases, music videos and live shows.

Artists are provided with: 

Untagged MP3

Untagged WAV

Tracked Out Files

Max 500,000 Audio Streams

Max 500,000 Video Streams

Non-Profit Performances

Sell 10,000 copies

Use for max. 1 Music Videos

Radio/TV Airplay on 2 stations

If you are an artist whose name is hitting the airwaves and becoming more and more serious in your music, premium leases will give you the push and support you need.

3. Unlimited Lease

Such a lease enables you to upload to streaming platforms like Spotify and iTunes, and you can sell your track limitlessly. 

Benefits and provisions include:

Untagged MP3

Untagged WAV

Tracked Out Files

Unlimited Audio Streams

Unlimited Video Streams

Paid performances

Non-profit performances

Sell unlimited copies

Use of max. 1 Music Video

Unlimited Radio and TV Airplay

With these leases, the more expensive it is the more rights and benefits you get from the producer. On top of that, the more expensive your lease or license is, the better the quality of the audio file.      

good to know

How to buy beats effectively?

1. Finds beats you like

This is the first and most obvious step in beat buying. You need to find a beat that inspires you and gets your creative juices flowing. Depending on how picky you are, your beat selection process can be either a long or short process. Some of the best platforms you can use for finding music producers and beats are YouTube, SoundCloud, Our Beat Store, Beatstars.

2. Explore producers’ pricing

The next step is to look at and compare producers’ pricing. Although prices vary, most beats prices range from $20 – $100 for typical beats and $500+ for exclusive ones.

3. Look and understand their terms

Most producers selling beats online have similar terms and conditions in their contracts. Most of these contracts discuss the set amount of units you are allowed to sell, the crediting of producers on the song, and a couple of other things. Note: When purchasing cheaper beats, you don’t always get a contract a to sign, but this doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want. In these cases, make sure you come through the terms and agreements of your purchase.

4. Write to the beat before purchasing

Sometimes, just because you have found an amazing beat, it doesn’t mean that you can write to it.  It is highly recommended for artists to try writing to the beat before buying it. Don’t let the fear of losing the beat tie you down. 

5. Purchase the beat

At this juncture, you have scoped the market, found the beat that you like, compared and decided on the price, wrote your lyrics, and are now ready to make it official. Now that beats are being sold online, it is fairly easy to find and buy beats from producers. Other than looking for how to buy beats from producers’ profiles, you can try looking for some of their stuff on these platforms Soundclick, BeatStars, Airbit.

What if one of my songs produced on a leased beat becomes a hit?

If you work well within your payment and benefits agreement then you will not be fined or penalized for being a success. Instead, what will happen is you will need to talk and negotiated a deal with the producer.

If he still holds the exclusive rights to the beat then you will need to come up with a payment agreement for you to upgrade and buy the exclusive rights to beat. However, if they do not wish to sell their rights, then you will either have to agree on a deal that hashes out sharing and distribution of the profits you make or, unfortunately, take down the track if that is their wish.

Safe online beat buying?

Most producers use a Beat Store Provider to sell their beats online. This is why most of their websites all look the same. These platforms have stellar reputations for representing producers and their music. The deliver instant delivery upon payment and checkout.

What are the new terms in agreements?

Recently, some producers tend to install new terms into their license agreements. It’s mostly a term that gives the producer all the power to end your term before your license agreement expires. In return, they will have to pay you triple or double of what you initially paid for the beat. Don’t fret, because more often than not this does not end up being a problem for you. That is unless your song becomes a huge success. If you handle your business correctly the possibility of these scenarios becoming catastrophic are rare, so happy shopping!

What if you bought a non-exclusive license, and then someone buys the exclusive rights for the same beat?

When you buy beats online, you are guaranteed to enjoy the rights that you received and agreed on upon payment of the beat. Therefore, when someone buys the exclusive rights, it will not immediately affect you.

Nowadays, producers sell licenses that are valid for about 2-4 years. This means that once your license expires after this term, you can renew and buy another license for the beat.

So in a case where someone buys the exclusive rights to the beat during your term, all it would mean is that you will not be able to renew your license after your term. All this and more is usually explained in the full terms and agreement when you are buying the beat.

More tips

Be on the lookout for samples

If you are not careful, samples can really turn out to be a big pain for you. If you are leasing beats for promotional purposes such as mixtapes and demos, then this will not be such a big issue for you. However, if you are buying exclusive rights, then this can be a huge detractor. You need to know, beyond any reasonable doubt that your beat does not contain any samples.

Simply explained, samples are audio clips borrowed from other recordings or songs. If and when your record becomes a huge hit, the presence of the sample might have you at a crossroad with the owners of the sampled music. You don’t want to end up in a music battle that you were unwillingly signed up for. Just be on the safe side and comb through the beat looking for samples before you buy them.

Do your research

Producers typically have their own websites, and you also can find them on third-party websites like Beatbrokerz, Soundclick, Beatbrokerkz, Beatstars.

These websites portray the beat portfolio of producers with the best reputations. This way, you will easily get access to great beats online from reputable and revered producers. It also enables you to skim out the greats from the scams.

Special Discounts

Most producers have discounts; however, they are typically only exclusive to the people on their mailing list. So, all you will need to do is visit their pages and sign up for the newsletter. Once you are on their mailing list, whenever they have new releases you’ll be among the first to know and will consequently get the beats at a discounted price.

Get value for your money

By now, you have a fair understanding of the difference between leases. For leases with non-exclusive rights, the expected range should be around $10-$30 per beat. For exclusive rights, on the other hand, you’d b be working with figures ranging between $300-$5,000 going up. No matter, the type of rights you are looking to purchase shop around and compare prices before you settle down.

Only use trusted and verified websites

Working with trusted websites ensures that you are dealing with a legit business party. You are assured of not getting ripped off. You can identify verified websites by looking for statements like ‘PayPal Verified’ or ‘BBB Certification’ indicated on the website. However, we can’t ignore the fact that anyone can copy and paste an image from the internet and plaster in on their website. So just to be sure, if you have any doubts contact the producer with whatever verification questions you may have.

Only buy professionally mixed beats

If you are going to use your hard earned money then you need to make sure that the quality of your beat is top notch. The aspects in question include the instrument selection, arrangement, and use of tools like equalizers, volume faders and pan nobs that ensure that the music is evenly balanced and arranged.

If fall victim to a poorly mixed beat, there is only so much a mixing engineer can do. If you bring him a poorly mixed beat all he will be able to do is give you a polished poorly mixed song.

So how do know if the track and beat have been properly mixed?

Load a beat you know has been professionally mixed, an example would be a typical beat off YouTube. Play both beats at the same time, add volume and compare the quality of both beats. Go back and forth a couple of times listening carefully, at the end of it all you will be able to identify the discrepancies between the quality of both.

Ready to get started?

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